Elkhart, Ind.-based recreation vehicle and manufactured housing supplier Dicor Corp. will be honored tonight (Aug. 24) as part of a “Companies to Watch” celebration at the Indiana Roof Ballroom in Indianapolis.
Inside INdiana Business reported that 43 Indiana companies from 18 counties were selected by the Indiana Economic Development Corp.
The fourth annual list includes companies with combined revenues of more than $600 million and are projected to create more than 550 new jobs this year.
Editor’s Note: The following is a technical report from Dicor Corp. outlining care and maintenance for RV rubber roofs, a core product line for the Elkhart, Ind. company
Taking care of your RV’s rubber roof
Rubber Roofs are the number one choice for today’s RVs. More than 2 million RVs with rubber roofs are presently on the road. Rubber roofs require less lifetime maintenance; they eliminate “roof rumble,” and have passed the ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) 20-year accelerated aging test. First introduced commercially in the 1960s, rubber roofs started to become popular in the 1970s and by the 1980s accounted for 40 percent of the roofing market. Today rubber roofs account for upwards of 70 percent of RV roofs.
EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) is one of the most versatile and long-lasting materials used for RV roofs. It is cost effective and both easy to maintain and repair. EPDM provides excellent resistance to ultra-violet rays, ozone and oxidants, while performing well under severe weather conditions.
Care and Maintenance
Care of a rubber roof begins with prevention: be aware as to how damage may occur. For example, EPDM roofing membranes are specially formulated to be more puncture resistant, yet these materials can still be cut or punctured by sharp objects. Also use caution when placing any articles on the roof, walking on the roof, or parking under low hanging tree branches. Beware of areas where fruit, tree sap, or harsh environmental fallout may stay on the roof for an extended period of time. These conditions may result in permanent stains. If your roof is exposed to such conditions, you may need to increase the frequency of your roof cleaning.
Caution: As with the surface of any roof, a rubber roof can be very slippery, especially when wet. If you go up on your roof we recommend extreme caution and suggest that you navigate the roof on your hands and feet. This distributes the weight more evenly and helps reduce the possibility of falling.
Dicor Products recommends that a rubber roof be cleaned at least four times annually. Use the following steps:
1. Completely rinse your roof with clean water to remove any loose dirt or debris.
2. Use a medium bristle brush and a concentrated cleaning agent such as Dicor Products RP-RC160C, mixed with two or three gallons of water. As an option to the concentrated cleaning product, Dicor also has a ready-to-use roof cleaner: RP-RC320S. Work in small manageable sections such as a 3’ X 3’ area starting at one end and working toward your point of exit. Scrub and rinse with clean water thoroughly to avoid residue build-up on the roof or sidewalls of your RV.
3. For difficult areas repeat step 2.
4. Caution: Do not use petroleum distillates to clean the roof as they may cause permanent damage.
With a newly cleaned roof, now would also be a good time to add a roof protectant product such as Dicor Products’ well-known Roof-Gard RP-RG320S UV protectant. This type of protectant is mild and non-abrasive and helps minimize oxidation, as well as drying and cracking, and leaves a finish that repels dust and water. It helps reduce fading from UV rays and keeps surfaces cleaner longer without residue or oily build-up. It’s also free of silicone oils, waxes, glycerin and petroleum distillates, all of which can harm a rubber roof.
To use, first clean the roof. Then while not in direct sunlight, spray the Roof-Gard protectant onto the surface. To ensure even coverage, apply in manageable sections such as a 3’ X 3’ area using a damp sponge mop or soft cloth. For maximum protection, apply every 3 to 5 weeks or as necessary.
Over time, just like everything else, your roof will show signs of aging. However, you can extend the life of your roof for years to come with Dicor Product’s 2-Step restoration system. This 2-Step Rubber Roof Coating System combines a cleaner/activator that in one step cleans and prepares the surface and helps promote adhesion of the unique specially formulated EPDM rubber roof acrylic coating. This provides a protective shield o help extend the life of the membrane. This is recommended not only for older roofs, but any roof that is tired, dirty or stained.
Caution: It is important to NOT use cleaners or conditioners containing petroleum products, hard abrasives, or citric-based formulas. Use of these products may cause irreparable damage to your roof and/or void the warranty.
Additionally, you may need a lap sealant to touch up or replace existing lap sealants around roof protrusions such as vents, skylights and trim strips. If the old lap sealant has pulled away from the roof, remove it and reseal. If the lap sealant has only surface cracks, just seal over. A cloth dampened with rubbing alcohol to eliminate foreign material from the seal provides a good prep for the new sealant. Be sure the area cleaned with alcohol is dry (about 15 minutes) before putting on the new lap sealant.
Damage may be in the form of punctures and/or rips.
For heavy-duty repairs, i.e., those with extensive damage, use Dicor Products 533RM available in 6-inch or 12-inch widths by 25-foot lengths. This is a peel and stick repair material. For smaller repairs, Dicor Products recommends DiSeal RP-TPO451C. This is a 4-inch X 50 -foot roll of peel and stick self-adhering repair material. For very small punctures Dicor Products offers a 6-inch X 6” patch of peel and stick material RP-TP066-1C. Dicor also supplies an emergency patch and repair kit that you can take with you, the 402PR.
To repair a puncture or rip, examine the area to be repaired and clean the area with Dicor Products rubber roof cleaner; rinse thoroughly. Ensure the roof is completely dry, Then, using a soft cloth dampened with rubbing alcohol, clean the dampened area again. Let dry thoroughly. Cut the repair membrane to extend over the hole making sure it overlaps the damaged area by 2 inches on all sides. DO NOT use multiple patches for a single repair: use the correct size. It is important to position any patch on the first try as the patch should not be lifted and repositioned.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it necessary to protect my rubber roof against UV Rays?
No. But Dicor Products Roof-Gard will add additional protection against damaging UV rays
If I use a roof treatment product containing petroleum distillates on my rubber roof, will that void my warranty?
If I buy a used RV and it has a rubber roof, how can I tell if the previous owner used petroleum distillates and damaged the rubber roof? What should I look for?
Two things: First, swelling and uneven thickness of material. Second, loose areas. Petroleum distillates soak in and cause the adhesion to loosen and the membrane to balloon. When the ballooning goes down, the membrane may never adhere properly or completely.
My roof seems to “oxidize” and run down the sides when it rains. Is this normal?
The simple answer is “Yes.” EPDM does oxidize slowly; it is supposed to. This is normal. By oxidizing, your EPDM rubber roof is protecting itself from damaging UV rays. Over the lifetime service of your roof this oxidation process claims about the thickness of two sheets of notebook paper. Cleaning the roof at least four times a year, or more often if necessary, will help greatly.
Is it easy to repair tears in the roof membrane?
Any tear in an EPDM roof membrane can be repaired using a number of repair methods. Dicor Products offers a prepackaged peel and stick repair kit (402PR) that works well on small tears (up to 8 inches), as well as a larger kit that should be used on large damaged areas (533RM-6 or 533RM-12). For longer tears use repair kit, 522TPO-450-1C.
One supplier of cleaning products told me that their roof treatment had only a very small percentage of petroleum in the neighborhood of 10 to 30 percent. Is a small percentage like that OK to use on my roof?
No. Usually the percentage is given based on weight. Since petroleum distillates are significantly lighter, the reality is that 30 percent by weight might be 40 percent or more by volume! THERE IS NO LEVEL OF PETROLEUM DISTILLATES THAT IS RECOMMENDED.
Note: Dicor Products Lap Sealant contains a type of petroleum distillate used strictly in the curing process. At the Lap Sealant cures, the petroleum distillate evaporates. This will not harm or cause permanent damage to your roof.
The rubber roof wraps over slightly on both sides of my RV and you can see it from the ground. Is there any special care that I need to follow for this part of my roof?
Clean the area and treat it with a product that will repel soiling and is safe for EPDM. One product that performs well, lasts long and is safe for EPDM and is commonly available at RV stores is Dicor Product’s RP-RG320S Roof Gard and Protectant.
Elkhart, Ind.-based supplier Dicor Corp. has been named one of 43 Indiana companies to receive the “Indiana Companies to Watch” award for 2011.
“We’re thrilled to have been chosen for this honor,” said Gregg Fore, president of Dicor, in a press release. ”This is a wonderful recognition of the hard work of our valued employees and the confidence our customers place in us. Both of these factors have encouraged the investments we’ve made in growing our company over the last 27 years.”
“Companies to Watch” is a unique awards program developed by the Edward Lowe Foundation to honor second-stage companies that demonstrate high performance in the marketplace, exhibit innovative products or processes, or display other characteristics that make them companies “worth watching.”
Second-stage companies are those that have grown past the startup stage but have not grown to maturity. They are companies “on the move” to bigger things in terms of future growth and economic impact. The selected companies for 2011 are projected to have combined revenues in excess of $600 million while adding more than 550 new jobs this year. These projections represent an increase of more than $100 million or 33 percent from 2010.
“This award affirms our recent investments in growing the company based on our core ethic of providing innovative and proven solutions to our customers — solutions that can significantly impact product quality,” said Fore. Dicor Corp. has been a major supplier of core components for the RV industry for the past 27 years. Over the past two years, the company has invested in a new facility and has introduced a record number of new products through its four affiliate companies — Dicor Products, Seal Design, United Shade and Vixen Composites. Through a sister company to United Shade, Window Expressions, Dicor Corp. also serves the commercial and residential construction industry with the latest in window coverings.
“We’re looking at how to expand into other industries, but RVs is where most of our business will continue to be,” said Fore. “We have many close and valued partnerships in this business.”
Dicor Corp. will be honored with the other recipients at an awards dinner Aug. 25 in Indianapolis. Fore will be one of 10 executives from the honored companies featured in a special video presentation about the winners by The Edward Lowe Foundation.
Recently Fore also represented Dicor as one of four Indiana business executives selected to participate in a roundtable discussion about growing a successful business in the state — and what makes a company one to watch. Sponsored by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, the discussion will appear in the September-October issue of BizVoice magazine, which will be distributed to 15,000 Indiana chamber members and others in the business community.
Two seasoned executives have been promoted to new positions with Dicor Products, one of four companies affiliated with Elkhart, Ind.-based Dicor Corp. and a major supplier to the RV industry.
Jeff Gaff has been named vice president and general manager of Dicor Products. He has previously served Dicor Products in the positions of outside sales/account representative, aftermarket manager, OEM national sales manager and vice president of OEM sales. Prior to his work with Dicor he sold products in the transit bus market.
In his new duties he will continue to oversee sales, purchasing, operations and customer service. Gaff is a 1988 graduate of Indiana University with a bachelor’s degree in business.
Tom Grubaugh has been promoted to national OEM sales manager at Dicor Products. His new duties will include his current position as regional sales manager with the additional responsibilities of the northwest and southwest sales territories.
Grubaugh started with Dicor as a regional sales representative in 2001 and was promoted to regional sales manager in 2005. He brings nearly 40 years of management experience to his position, most of it in the RV industry, including positions at Coachmen RV as plant manager, group production manager, and plant manager of Class A motorhome operations. He is also a U.S. Army veteran, serving on active duty, 1969 to 1970, and in the active reserves, 1971 to 1975.
“Dicor is a great company to work for, and my previous experience makes this job a good fit for me,” said Grubaugh. “My goals include maintaining the integrity and good reputation that Dicor Products has achieved as a world-class supplier to the RV industry for many years. We will continue to ensure that our customers’ needs are met in a proficient and professional manner, while developing new customer relationships that go well beyond the sale.”
“Dicor Products is a market leader in our main product lines and respected by our customers,” said Gaff. “We’re now offering a number of innovative new products that will further solidify our position in the market place. These are products our customers can have confidence in and which can significantly impact the RV experience.”
“Jeff and Tom know the RV business intimately in terms of what works and what doesn’t with our customers,” said Gregg Fore, president of Dicor Corp. “Their experience is a tremendous resource that we are fortunate to have for our customers. Their management experience is invaluable in moving Dicor Products in new directions with our new products.”
Bill Snook, vice president of operations for Elkhart, Ind., supplier Dicor Corp., will be retiring on June 30, according to a press release.
Dicor noted in the release that “through the past 40 years in the RV industry, the well-respected, 67-year-old executive” has held a wide variety of management positions, first with Coachmen RV Inc. and then with Dicor, where he has served for the last 20 years.
“Bill has been successfully involved in a variety of RV-related management roles,” said Gregg Fore, president of Dicor “He has helped to make our industry a better place for those who work in it, and has touched many issues that have enhanced RV products enjoyed by millions of Americans.”
Snook, a graduate of Elkhart’s Concord High School and Indiana State University, began his career as a teacher but found an opportunity in the RV industry in 1971 with Coachmen RV. It was there that Snook found “the best management university in the world. They taught us how to do everything the right way. They taught us big company management techniques and sent us to lots and lots of seminars. And now you can go and look around at all the people running the big RV companies in town. They’re all ex-Coachmen people.”
Snook came to Dicor Corporation 20 years ago as president of its affiliate, JPC LLC, a sewing company that made floor mats for RVs. He later served as vice president of affiliate companies before his present tenure as vice president of operations.
“Bill has always been uniquely qualified for making organizations run more efficiently,” said Fore. “He has a talent for nurturing employees and people around him.”
“It’s always been fun,” said Snook. “The great thing about the RV industry is that very little of it is stymied by bureaucracy. Changes can be quickly made. If someone has an idea, it can be brought to market in a matter of weeks. It’s fast paced. When you go home at night you can see that you’ve done something and you haven’t sat in meetings for four weeks beforehand.”
“Success in this business takes what it has always taken,” said Snook. “You need to be a very high energy people person.”
Success in the business has also meant many changes over his 40 years. The RV business “has become more sophisticated, with better quality and more reliable materials and products,” said Snook.
“Dicor is the best group of people I’ve ever been associated with. This is the only place I’ve been where all the employees are totally empowered,” he said. “And it is the people that will make it tough for me to leave. I’ve made a lot of very, very good friends in this business over the years.”
“I’ve known Bill for many years and he’s always been a good leader and provided good advice for the people who worked with and for him,” said Tom Del Vecchio, director of engineering for Dicor.“He’s been a good friend to many of us in the RV industry. He will certainly be missed in our business.”
Along with more time for his golf game, Snook is looking forward in retirement to traveling to all the tourist spots he always had to pass by on his many business trips over the years. “I don’t know how many times I’ve flown into the Boston airport to visit dealerships or other business, but I’ve never been to downtown Boston,” he said. Now he plans to take in downtown Boston and other places with his new travel agenda.
“It will be a new kind of fun. I’m looking forward to it,” he said.
New on RVBUSINESS.com today is “RV Capital Talk,” featuring an interview with Gregg Fore, president of Dicor Corp. and chairman of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA). “RV Capital Talk” is part of a new weekly feature on RVBUSINESS.com and on the Internet.
While Fore previews RVIA’s Committee Week activities scheduled for next week in Washington, D.C., the show itself is co-hosted by RVNN.TV Creative Director Dave Dufour and RVBusiness Publisher Sherman Goldenberg and is produced out of the northside-Elkhart, Ind., studios of RV News Net (RVNN.TV) (http://RVNN.TV), an Internet-based television network launched in January.
RVNN.TV currently generates 12 recreational vehicle-oriented TV shows for Internet distribution. In addition to traditional website and podcast distribution, RVNN’s shows are delivered via “over-the-top” (OTT) Internet TV systems, including Roku, Boxee and Apple TV, as well as mobile devices, such as iPad.
RVNN.TV is advertiser-supported, offering viewers a broad range of trade and consumer RV-related content, largely in a breezy, informal style, according to Andy McCaskey, managing director of the network. “RVNN is casual TV, not highly produced, but the trade-off is a closer relationship with our audience, more immediacy and a higher level of involvement that translates into a more productive marketing channel for advertisers,” said McCaskey.
“It’s a first in the RV industry — a multi-layered marketing channel that is actually ‘two –way TV’ using familiar tools such as text messaging and Skype,” he added, “and it’s fully integrated with social media such as Twitter and Facebook. With RVNN.TV, marketers can reach audiences more proactively in ways people want to be reached. RVNN.TV is an exciting cost-effective communications channel to reach the RV enthusiast.”
Simpler is better. This is the message Seal Design has been sending out to the RV industry since it introduced a trio of breakthrough sealant products at the National RV Trade Show this past December. A number of RV manufacturers are now integrating the new RV sealants into prototype units and assembly processes. Seal Design is an affiliate of Dicor Corp.
The three sealants are Perma-Fit extrusions, Seal-Tite hot melt sealant, and Touch-N-Seal spray foam insulation. “These three component products can literally seal and insulate every single application in a recreational vehicle,” said Greg Kelly, general manager of Seal Design. “They can replace most all of the SKUs now used by manufacturers. We’re aiming for nothing less than a simple but complete solution for water leaks and other sealant failures.”
All three sealants are tested and proven performers in other industries but have never been used for RVs.
So far, prototype work for Seal-Tite and Touch-N-Seal has gone well with several manufacturers, said Kelly. Seal Design is also working closely with manufacturers to efficiently integrate these products into their production processes. “We’ve always been a leader in not only finding innovative products for the industry, but in working closely with manufacturers on the best way to integrate our products into their production processes,” said Kelly. “We don’t just drop them off at the loading dock and disappear. If we sell it to you, we’re going to make it work for you.”
Seal-Tite comes from the architectural glazing industry as a hot melt application that replaces putty, rubber, tapes and other such sealants. It is made of 97% solid cross-link polymer to create a long-lasting seal that does not bleed, sag or shrink. Applied with a hot gun, manually or robotically, it cures quickly and can significantly reduce application time and waste for the manufacturer.
Touch-N-Seal is from the construction industry as a spray-in foam insulation that replaces fiberglass to provide better R-Value (7.12 per inch vs. 3.2) and a tighter seal against water infiltration, while also improving the unit’s structural integrity. Additionally, it takes up little storage space compared to the rolls of fiberglass material needed for the same job.
Perma-Fit is a non-cellular extrusion from the automotive industry that is a much more durable extrusion seal for baggage-utility doors, slide-outs, moldings and molding substrates than the foam rubber that’s used today. It is a solid thermoplastic that will not shrink, become brittle or loose its elasticity and shape over time. So it will seal as well 10 years from now as it does on day one.
“These products are prime examples of the way Dicor companies seek out innovative solutions from other markets to help build a better RV — in this case more energy efficient and leak-proof units — while also working with manufacturers to create better production processes,” said Kelly. “Our work with these products has confirmed that they can provide a new level of RV quality that the RV consumer will appreciate. That bodes well for all of us in the industry. It’s as simple as one two three.”
For more information about Seal Design and its sealants, call 574-970-4841.
United Shade has significantly expanded its offerings for RV window coverings with some trendy new styles and the added convenience of motorized options for most of its product lines, the Elkhart, Ind.-based manufacturer said in a news release.
“We’re very excited about the new choices we’re bringing to the RV market,” said Braden McCormick, president of United Shade. “We have some great new options that offer a fresh look to RV interiors.”
The motorized feature is available for virtually all of United Shades’ window coverings. “No one else offers a motorized option for so many different shade styles,” said McCormick. “Our offerings provide the widest range of styles combined with the exceptional handiness of being operated by the touch of a switch or remote control.”
In fact, a single remote can control one shade or multiple shades, said McCormick. Shade control can also be programmed into universal remotes.
The motorized feature even applies for windshield shades and uses SilentGlide System to reduce noise. The cabin window shades, available in various colors, provide UV protection and temperature control.
Many stylish choices
Motorized choices also include Bamboo shades that make a fashionable statement with a residential interior-design look. The shades come with many colors and patterns and are made with natural, sustainable bamboo materials.
Also new is a Euro-style frame shade that is the only motorized frame shade in the RV industry. It offers a different, upscale look that is clean and utilitarian. It has both a screen and window covering that can be raised and lowered in different combinations to get just the right amount of fresh air and light.
Along with these new shades, United Shades’ cordless cellular shades are made even easier to use with the motorized feature while providing a new look and great insulating properties because of its cellular structure. The company’s popular day/night or night-only pleated shade and its Roman Shades round out the offerings.
Along with multiple colors, black out material is available for most styles. All can be customized to fit manufacturer needs and are easy to install.
“This is largest number of new shade styles we’ve ever offered at one time. That we can now provide motorized options opens up another set of opportunities for our manufacturing partners, helping them to further enhance the RV experience for their customers,” said McCormick. “We never stop looking for something better.”
To learn and see more about new window coverings from United Shade, visit www.dicor.com/amazingstuff. United Shade is an affiliated company of Dicor Corp.
United Shade is introducing a new flexible vinyl enclosure for the cargo entrance of toy haulers. Called Roll ‘N Go, it will be initially offered exclusively to RV manufacturers, but it is expected to become an affordable aftermarket add-on as well, according to a news release. The Roll ‘N Go is an easy-to-use, heavy-duty, laminated scrim vinyl enclosure that provides easy access and configuration through multiple tent-style zippers. The white vinyl is tear resistant and offers ultraviolet protection. Made to withstand the elements, it features two clear vinyl windows, either or both of which can be unzipped and rolled up to provide ventilation through SmartWeave screens, which block ultraviolet light and glare. Either side of the tent-like enclosure can be quickly unzipped, rolled up and secured to allow easy personal access, as well as being completely rolled out of the way for full cargo exit and entrance. The heavy-duty vinyl protects the cargo entrance from the elements and insects, while the clear vinyl windows let in light and roll up for ventilation. “It’s a lightweight but heavy-duty enclosure with windows for the cargo entrance,” said Braden McCormick, president of United Shade, an affiliate of Dicor Corp. “It’s a good looking, easy-to-use and economical way to provide a barrier to weather, bugs and dirt. It’s the kind of solution our OEM customers are looking for and which we think a lot of RVers will appreciate. As an aftermarket item it would be quite affordable and fairly easy to install.” For more information call Braden McCormick, (574) 262-0954.
Compact, adjustable wall mount and pedestal tables may be one of the new features found in RVs this year as a number of RV manufactures are integrating these amenities into their product lines.
Dicor Products introduced several versions of these tables at the National RV Trade Show in December and they garnered a lot of attention, Dwayne Nickel, director of marketing for Dicor Corp., parent company of Dicor Products, stated in a news release.
In fact, the adjustable tables were No. 1 on the 12-item list of what one RV trade writer called “excellent examples of the RV industry’s ingenuity and innovation” in its “Louisville features innovation on display.”
“Everybody loved the tables,” said Nickel. “We called them our ‘Dancing Tables’ because of the multiple ways they can move, all of which provides a brand new level of flexibility for this common RV feature.” The tables are designed to make efficient use of space in smaller RVs while retaining the comforts of a larger dinette or table.
The wall mounted tables, typically used for dinettes, include the Quick-Flip Leaf Wall Table, which quickly deploys a flip-up leaf near the wall that extends the table 12 inches with one easy action. Once deployed, the table can also be moved from side to side along the wall mount for easier seat access.
The Up-Down Wall Table also slides from side to side as needed for comfortable seating and uses a hinging system that allows it to be lowered to bed height. The RV owner never needs to lift the full weight of the table when changing heights. The wall mount tables are all supported by steel and aluminum hardware for durability and safety.
The wall mount tables are flexible, complete table systems that also combine a choice of attractive aluminum single and double legs with table tops that fit the specific décor needs of manufacturers.
The Cosmo Round Table Pedestal provides the mount for another table system. The single, telescoping leg can raise and lower the table to two levels from 13 to 28 inches high, aided by a smooth, single-lever auto lift.
The Four-Way Directional Tabletop System can move the pedestal table top in four directions, side-to-side and lengthwise. The tables also use steel and aluminum hardware. “Additional table top systems may be offered in the future as we get a better feel for manufacturer desires in this area,” said Nickel.
“The various ways the tables move and extend make them adaptable to a variety of floorplans. The dinette can have a smaller footprint, for example,” said Nickel. “They make table adjustments quick, easy and safe for RVers and help them make better use of limited space in smaller RVs.”
Currently the tables are being integrated into prototypes for new RV models. “The manufacturers need a little time to work with them, but we expect them to be dancing in public before long,” said Nickel.
To see animated videos of the tables in action, go to www.dicor.com/amazingstuff and click on the table link at the bottom of the page.
Feedback from the 2010 National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky., this past December has affirmed Dicor Corp.’s decision to introduce a record number of new products, Gregg Fore, president of the company, stated in a news release. His assessment: “What we saw at Louisville was an industry ready for some bold changes,”
Dicor Corp. is a leading RV supplier. Its four affiliated companies are Dicor Products, Seal Design, United Shade and Vixen Composites. RV manufacturers are presently integrating into prototype models several of the products Dicor Corp. introduced at the Louisville Show. From these test units, new choices for RV dealers and customers are expected to emerge that will address trends in the RV market.
Meeting customer demand
“Many dealers as well as manufacturers we spoke to told us the products we introduced are the kind of choices needed to take advantage of the emerging trends in the industry,” said Fore. “At Dicor, we certainly believe that one of our core competencies is staying ahead of the trend curve by looking at what’s working in other markets and then adapting what we find to RVs.”
“Accordingly, our United Shade affiliate has introduced a number of new window fashions as well as new motorized shade and screen choices,” said Fore. These new high-style choices include bamboo shades, faux wood shades and cordless cellular shades.
The trend toward smaller, more lightweight RVs, where floorspace is at a premium, also made Dicor Corp.’s series of adjustable and extendable table hardware a big hit with show visitors, said Fore. They work particularly well in the confines of smaller RVs, especially when the table top can be adjusted up or down or extended from side to side and even swiveled if need be. “Everybody loved the tables,” said Fore. “We called them our ‘dancing tables’ because of the multiple ways they can move, all of which provides a brand new level of flexibility for this common RV feature.”
A more fuel-efficient, weather tight RV
Fore said that two of the biggest breakthroughs came from Seal Design’s new Touch-N-Seal closed cell insulating foam and Seal-Tite sealing product. “The closed-cell, spray-in foam has not been used in the RV industry,” he said. “The more we examined it, the more we were convinced it is perfect for RVs. It’s relatively easy to spray in, solidifies quickly, seals tightly and insulates better. It’s also lighter than fiberglass insulation, while bolstering the structural integrity of the unit. It contributes to a lighter, more fuel efficient and weather tight RV. Also, for manufacturers, it takes up just five percent of the space required for storing fiberglass. It got a big response at the show.”
The Seal-Tite product is a caulk replacement that manufacturers can more efficiently and effectively apply to exterior doors, windows and other exterior protuberances, while providing a much longer lasting and stable seal. Seal Design research shows that Seal-Tite can replace dozens of different SKUs common in RV plants.
“Both these products address what has been an historic issue with some RVs — leaks and water damage,” said Fore. “The industry has gotten better at addressing this issue, but we think these products are a big step forward. We have to remember that the newer, younger RV buyer is not going to be comparing his purchase with a previous generation of RVs, but with his own experience of other quality products. We need to keep stepping up our efforts to meet these expectations.
“These kind of trends and products are things the industry will be continually evaluating and moving forward on,” Fore concluded. “Sometimes we get too comfortable with the status quo. At Dicor Corp., we expect all our companies to be leaders in their fields, and that means developing new solutions from their own expertise and from the expertise they find in other industries. Inspiration can come from many sources, and we hope to help our customers capture a whole new generation of RV buyers with some inspired choices.”
Click here to visit a website and watch videos promoting Dicor products.
Dicor Corp. has beefed up its aftermarket, service and marketing operations with the addition of long-time industry executive Larry Lebryk as aftermarket manager.
Among Lebryk’s principal duties will be assisting with Dicor Corp.’s aftermarket planning and execution, including establishing a strong aftermarket program for Dicor’s United Shade affiliate, according to a news release. He will also work with customer service personnel to provide more efficient service, and will assist with other marketing and show activities as needed.
“Larry brings a great depth and breath of experience into our service, and we are particularly pleased to have that experience focused on our customer service and aftermarket operations,” said Gregg Fore, president of Dicor Corp. “We are very successful with our aftermarket roofing and wheel products, but there are many new products coming on board that we think have excellent retail potential. Larry gives us more resources for evaluating those opportunities and developing distribution strategies. His experience with web marketing and social network outlets such as Facebook will be especially helpful in beefing up our approach to the aftermarket.”
Lebryk most recently worked in marketing and communications for Girard Products of San Clemente, Calif., coordinating and planning new product introductions and developing a web presence for the acceptance and sales of new products.
Prior to that he worked in Elkhart for 17 years with Atwood Mobile Products, becoming director of marketing services/aftermarket services/international sales. At Atwood, Lebryk took on a broad range of responsibilities that included development of Atwood’s website and web sales, literature development, aftermarket and trade show management, product management, account management, and management of the Tech Service Call Center and warranty departments.
His industry experience also includes serving as assistant vice president for sales promotion for Coachmen RV, and participation on several Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) committees and the Recreation Vehicle Aftermarket Association (RVAA) board. In recent years he has served on the Affinity Group selection panel for RV Dealer of the Year.
The Coast Distribution System has launched its RV Healthy Roof marketing program for RV dealers.
The “Is Your Roof Healthy?” program provides the dealer the opportunity to offer a free RV roof inspection to customers, according to a news release from the Morgan Hill, Calif.-based distributor. The marketing program is designed to drive traffic to dealerships by providing a free roof inspection coupon. The dealer has the option of sending the coupon out in an e-mail blast or by mailing postcards to their database of customers and prospects. Dealers also receive a poster to display in their dealership advertising the free inspection.
The program is aimed at educating the RV owner on the importance of RV roof maintenance and helping dealers promote their services. Coast has partnered with Dicor Corp., a leading supplier of roofing technology, and RVP/Coleman, a leading manufacturer of RV air conditioners, to make this program a success. Participating dealers use a checklist when performing the roof inspections. At the end of the inspection, the dealer reviews the checklist with the RV owner and makes recommendations if maintenance is required.
Consumers can visit the RV Healthy Roof “Is Your Roof Healthy?” website to find a participating dealer. The website also provides roof maintenance tips and product information. Consumers can also sign up to receive periodic email updates with tips and product promotions. Visit the RV Healthy Roof “Is Your Roof Healthy?” program website at www.rvhealthyroof.com.
The Coast Distribution System is a leading North American manufacturer and distributor of recreational products and outdoor power equipment. The company has seventeen strategically located distribution centers in the United States and Canada, offering same day shipping for most products. Coast supplies products to the independent RV, marine, outdoor power equipment, and pool and patio wholesalers and dealers.
While Dicor Corp. executives had freely discussed the company’s new Vixen composite panel technology for several months leading up to the National RV Trade Show, they had steadfastly refused to unveil the new sidewall prior to the annual trade show. Not surprisingly, the buzz surrounding the new panels created quite a crowd at the Dicor Corp. exhibit inside Louisville’s Kentucky Exposition Center.
“We haven’t necessarily reinvented anything,” Gordon Frost, general manager of Dicor Corp.’s new Vixen Composites division, told RVBUSINESS.COM. “Perhaps a better description would be that we’ve enhanced existing technologies and combined technologies together into what we call ‘panelogics.’ The process is all custom-designed; there’s nothing quite like it out there.”
According to Frost, one very distinguishing feature of the Vixen product is that the company has worked tirelessly to ‘design out’ the potential for human error in production.
“The amount of control and automation that we’ve applied is phenomenal,” he noted. “We do have employees, but we’ve tried to keep employee ‘touch’ down to basically loading raw materials and unloading the finished product. It’s a highly technical manufacturing process.”
“First,” added Dicor President Gregg Fore, “we don’t use any wood. Not all of the products in use today use wood, but many do. All (of them) that we’re aware of use a seamed substrate, where there’s a seam every four feet. Those seams have a tendency to visibly show through in certain situations — especially where there’s a drastic temperature variation between hot and cold — where substrates butted up to one another.
“We hope, by producing a more homogenized panel, to eliminate that, or at least to decrease it considerably.”
Vixen sidewalls, by the same token, supposedly aren’t as susceptible to high temperatures or darker colors. “Today’s (other available) products have served their customers very well,” he added. “But as the customers used them, they noted some shortcomings. We’ve worked with the customer to address those, and we expect that our product will provide better and longer-term cosmetics on the exterior of an RV.”
Elkhart, Ind.-based Dicor Corp. announced today (Dec. 15) it had completed its inter-city relocation following completion of an estimated $6.1 million investment in equipment and improvements to new facilities at 2965 LaVenture Place.
The move included corporate offices and manufacturing and warehouse facilities for Dicor Corp. and three of its affiliates: Vixen Components, Dicor Products and Seal Design.
Another affiliate, United Shade, will expand operations into Dicor Corp.’s old site on Airport Parkway. This will include United Shades’ subsidiary, Window Expressions.
According to Dicor Corp., much of the space in the 98,000-square-foot LaVanture Place building will be dedicated to the manufacture of Vixenite and other composite sidewall products. Vixenite, a first-of-its kind composite sidewall material by Vixen Components, was introduced earlier this month at the 48th Annual National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky.
“This facility, and the proprietary manufacturing process we’ve developed for Vixenite, gives us the capacity to meet demand very effectively,” said Gregg Fore, president of Dicor Corp. “It is further evidence of our commitment to combine first-rate customer service with innovative, long-term solutions for the RV industry. It will also help us serve other industries we are assessing.”
“This move keeps us on track with the development plan we laid out early in the year,” Fore added. “While the relocation is an important milestone, it is only one step of our planned progress for the future.”